Pacific Islands Forum

EU pleas for Forum to stay united

In February, the five Micronesian members of the Forum announced they would leave in protest at the failure of the organisation to appoint their nominee for secretary general of the regional body.

Instead of choosing Marshall Islands diplomat, Gerald Zackios, the Forum chose former Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna.

The Pacific delegation for the EU has issued a statement, saying it believed a strong Pacific Islands Forum, as the premier political regional organisation for the Pacific, was fundamental for this region.

Fiji urges Micronesia to rethink plans to leave forum

The leaders said they saw minimal, if any impact, by departing the region's primary body.

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama says Micronesia must stand in solidarity with their Pacific counterparts.

The standoff stemmed from Micronesia's frustration at its candidate no getting the sceretary-general's position at the Forum Secretariat following what it called a 'gentlemen's agreement' the subregion would get the top job at PIFS.

Former Cook Islands prime minister Henry Puna was elected to replace Papua New Guinea's Dame Meg Taylor last month.

Marshalls follows Palau, FSM in initiating Forum withdrawal

"Cabinet approved the withdrawal from the Pacific Islands Forum last Thursday," said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Casten Nemra.

"(The) next step is for Nitijela (parliament) to endorse the move through a resolution."

The move by the Marshall Islands follows similar actions by Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) over the past week.

The five Micronesian presidents, including those from Kiribati and Nauru, met 8 February and agreed on the withdrawal, and that they saw minimal if any impact by departing the region's primary body.

FSM begins process to leave Pacific Islands Forum

A diplomatic note has gone to Fiji as the host for the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, beginning a one-year process for the FSM to withdraw from the PIF, concluding on 14 February next year.

The move comes after the Micronesian Presidents' Summit of the FSM, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Kiribati and Nauru.

All said they would leave the Forum in protest at their candidate not securing the position of Secretary-General of the group, despite what they deemed a gentlemen's agreement to allow the position to be rotated among the sub-regions of the Pacific.

Pacific Forum's consensus failure lamented

This comes as Micronesian leaders this week announced their intention to withdraw their five countries from the premier regional body, after their candidate wasn't selected for the organisation's top job.

The presidents of Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Palau said that South Pacific countries dishonoured a "gentleman's agreement" to rotate the post evenly among sub-regions, and that it was Micronesia's turn.

Reform seen as solution for split Pacific Forum

The leaders of Nauru, Kiribati,The Marshall Islands, Palau and The Federated States of Micronesia today signed off on a communique agreeing to initiate the formal process of withdrawing from the Pacific Islands Forum.

The five countries are deeply disappointed with the process which led to the appointment of former Cook Islands prime Minister Henry Puna as the Forum's new secretary-general over Micronesia's candidate, Gerald Zackios during a marathon online meeting of Pacific leaders last week.

Five Micronesian countries leave Pacific Islands Forum

The presidents of Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Palau issued a joint statement, saying they will start the formal process of leaving the Forum.

The leaders collectively expressed disappointment with the appointment process, which overlooked the Micronesian candidate Gerald Zackios.

They say a gentleman's agreement to rotate the Forum's top position among Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia was not honoured when a majority of Forum leaders chose Henry Puna of the Cook Islands.

Micronesian leaders to debate leaving Pacific Islands Forum

They say the rejection of Marshall Islands' Gerald Zackios has led to division within the Pacific. PIF members voted in favour of former Cook Islands prime minister Henry Puna.

The Chair of the Micronesian Presidents' Summit, Lionel Aingimea of Nauru, has scheduled Monday's virtual meeting.

It follows last October's 'Mekreos Communique' where presidents of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau insisted the Forum honour an unwritten gentleman's agreement to rotate the secretary general role by sub-region.

Palau preparing to leave Pacific Islands Forum

Republic president Surangel Whipps Jr said the move was over the decision by other Pacific leaders to ignore Micronesia's request for their candidate to take up the role of secretary general of the forum.

For months, the regional body has been divided over whose candidate should get the forum's top job.

Former Cook Islands prime minister Henry Puna was appointed secretary general on Thursday, pipping Marshall Islands' diplomat Gerald Zackios by just one vote.

Pacific Leaders to decide on new PIF Secretary General today

A statement from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat says Leaders are expected to focus on two main agenda items -  the current COVID-19 situation in the Pacific, its impact on the region to date and access to safe and secure vaccines, and secondly, the appointment of the next Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.

"The successor to incumbent Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor was to have been appointed last year. This was delayed due to the global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, said the statement.